…Attempt to track stolen crude
In this interview with attorney Jerome Stanley, General Counsel to LOUMOS Group, Houston, Texas, he speaks of the frustrations he encountered in Nigeria when he visited; but he, nonetheless, suggests how best the nation can recover the funds that accrued from sale of stolen crude oil from Nigeria.
Understanding the issues
Initially, it was decided that we would start the cases against the companies that we thought were selling undeclared oil (stolen) and we decided that we would sue the Nigerian subsidiaries and have the cases adjudicated in Nigeria.
But because of what has gone on and the time that has elapsed and not making as much progress as we hope to achieve, we have decided that we believe the best way to now go about it is that instead of suing the sellers from Nigeria, we can engage the buyers in the United States and ask them to give us information about the transactions that occurred so that we can work backwards so that we can find out where the money that they paid actually ended up.
What to achieve by working backwards?
We believe that if we do it like that – working backwards and instead of starting it from Nigeria, we can start with subsidiaries of the companies in the United States and bring them to your here in the United States where we believe we have a very very good chance of success.
Why success appears elusive?
It’s been very difficult for us to get information out of the branches of the Nigerian government on payments so that we could try to match the payments up with the deliveries that came into the United States.
That, and the court system in Nigeria and the inability of someone who sues in Nigeria to force the defendant to give them information – it’s very difficult to force a defendant in a case in Nigeria to give you information that you need to prove your case.
In the United States, you can force a defendant, the court would force the defendant to give you the information that you need so that you can have that information to prove your case.
In every case the defendant has all the information.
The plaintiff only has pieces of the information that he can put together.
The defendant has the information and if the defendant is not forced by the court to give the plaintiff the information it’s very difficult to win.
If we want to move forward and if we want to get results, we need to start in the United States because we can get the information from the buyers of the oil that we need trace it back to the sellers of the oil and we can follow the money from the sellers to the big banks in New York, who then wire the money back to Nigeria.
That way, we can find out who they were dealing with and where the money went.
Message to Nigerians
There’s a lot of money that’s been taken from the Nigerian people.
They deserve to get it back